The other day my sister and I took a trip to Ikea. Ikea is hit or miss for me. Sometimes I go in there don't see anything exciting.... and sometimes everything is flying into my cart at record speed. This recent trip happened to be one where everything looked amazing. Especially the carpets. As I threw two rugs into my cart intended for the dining room and living room, my (smart) sister asked twice, "Are you sure they're the right size?" "Yeah yeah sure sure they look about right, they'll be fine," I said.
Not the case.
This rug looked so pretty in the dining room but unless we wanted to use an end table as our dining table, it just wasn't big enough.
It might look like it fits the room in the picture but it was really too small.
I also bought a carpet for the living room that was not big enough but also not small enough (if that makes any sense...) It made the room look a lot smaller. I didn't even take a picture before rolling it right back up again.
So. What have we learned?
MEASURE YOUR SPACE!
I've also been shopping for dining room tables but don't even know what would fit! So last night I got some masking tape out and made a rug/table floor plan.
I have been stalking a table on Craigslist (the owner hasn't responded to my email yet - grrr!) that is round without the leaf and an oval with the leaf. So first, I taped off the 44.5" circle in the center of the room.
Then I extended the length to account for the leaf.
Looks like this table could be a perfect fit! If only the current owner would respond!! Aaargh!
To get an idea of what size rug I should be looking for, I taped an outline (just eye-balling it). The rug I bought from Ikea was 5' x 7' and the tape outline turned out to be 7' x 9' - quite a bit bigger.
I'm sure there is a much easier way to do this but taping the outline really helped me see the layout and dimensions. If you are in the rug market and aren't sure what size to go for (and don't feel like getting out the masking tape!), here are some good rules of thumb I found for choosing the right size.
1) Ideal dining room carpets are large enough so that all chairs are still entirely on the carpet when pulled out. The best way to estimate this is by adding 4' to the length and width of your dining table. In my case, this means I should bump the tape outline out about 6" on all sides.
2) If a large carpet is not possible, try to have at least all of the front legs of dining chairs remain on the carpet when pulled out.
3) In any room, a rug should never be so large that it reaches the baseboards. Try to have an even border of floor around the edges. The size of the recommended border differed quite a bit depending on the source. One designer said at least 18" away from the walls when another designer (one of my favorites!) said she usually does 7" - 12" max. Guess it's just personal preference.
4) If your living room furniture is anchored to a wall, place the rug under the front legs of each piece of furniture. If your furniture is floating, the ideal rug will be large enough to be completely under all pieces of furniture.
Wish I had looked into this before shopping! Back to Ikea I go!